You Can’t Afford A Heel John Cena

Justin LaBar

When will Cena turn heel? How will it happen? If he turns heel, will it be equal to Hogan turning heel? That is what the IWC keeps asking.

I ask all of you, why should he turn heel?

Hogan was never thought of or viewed as anything but a fan favorite who fought evil. In 1996 when he he turned heel, nothing had ever been seen quite like that. Hogan, Hall and Nash made a black shirt with 3 letters cool. Similar to how Flair and company made holding up 4 fingers a gesture that meant something.

In 2001, Steve Austin shocked fans in his home state by aligning with his rival, Vince McMahon, and cheating to beat The Rock, on the biggest stage of the year. This didn’t have the long-term stability or pay off that Hogan’s turn had. Austin’s turn wasn’t original. At the time WWE creative had about 20-25 guys to book on RAW and SmackDown. At the same time Austin turns, WCW and ECW become no more and the WWE has doubled the roster. I feel they got in over their heads with the whole invasion angle and lost control of effectively selling Austin as a heel. Before we knew it he was playing an acoustic guitar and hugging Vince McMahon every night. You can’t have a Santino Marella as champion and top heel.

Why should Cena turn heel? It won’t be original. Alright, I’m playing devils advocate. Truth is that for 2 reasons I would enjoy seeing Cena turn heel.

1.    The IWC would go nuts over it and with the Chair Shot Reality show here on Wrestlezone, the IWC is the audience. So Cena heel, means money for me.
2.    I’m bored with the same good guy routine we have been seeing.

From WWE view point, Cena is everything. He gets the biggest reaction of the night. Love him or hate him, when you go to a live event the chances are you make your opinion heard of him. The worst thing for a booker is to have a performer who gets no reaction. People sitting down quiet with no care of what happens to the character. Everybody cares what happens to John Cena.

The older males who don’t buy into his character will tune in and show up wanting to see him get his ass kicked by a “bad boy” like Orton or Sheamus. The kids look up to him and think he is cool. So the parents of the kids fork over money for everything from arm bands to spinner belts. Yes, they will buy a 9 year old a 200 dollar spinner belt. I’ve seen the madness myself.

Cena is a powerful weapon for public relations. He is great with the media and Make A Wish foundation.

All the evidence pointing towards a good business move to keep Cena as a face, and it seems that we are being set up for a heel turn in the future. The turn will involve the Nexus group. A group led by a young Wade Barrett. Barrett is good, real good. So if Cena turns heel and is aligned with Nexus, Barrett isn’t as important.

That is a TNA type mistake. If Cena is strong face and in the struggle can put over Wade Barrett, that is good for the future. Barrett has been getting put over for months now and its working. If you make Cena a heel and he has some power or leadership in what was Barrett’s group, all of the work you have done in the building of Barrett is now pointless.

If John Cena ends up turning heel, then it will be a true test for the WWE to make profit in the long-term. The possibility is always there that the males who love to hate him will embrace him if his character makes certain changes. Perhaps its changes such as if he was using more violent language and rapping before matches where he cuts a promo on his opponent would go over like it did 6 years ago. But of course 6 years ago wasn’t a family friendly geared environment like it is now.

The turn won’t be a surprise as everyone is waiting for it and discussing when it will go down. If Cena turns heel at a Pay Per View, the next night on RAW will do good numbers. After the explanation and seeing Cena come out as a heel, then what? A black shirt with a yellow ‘N’ isn’t going to be a new symbol of cool and be worn by everyone in public schools. That is what the NWO shirts did. In the 90’s when everyone watch wrestling, whether they admitted it or not, the black NWO shirt represented something cool to be apart of. Today, if you want anything close to that effect, you wear a shirt that says Tapout.

Follow me on Twitter at JustinLaBar and email is

Be sure to check out the Chair Shot Reality every weekend here on To view last weeks 5 part 50th episode where I talk to Mick Foley & Jerry “The King” Lawler.
And check out this weeks upcoming episode for more Cena talk, Lesnar/Undertaker and who we will be talking to on the show next.

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